back to article Irony's lost on old Pope Francis: Pontiff decrees fake news a 'serious sin'

Christmas is typically a busy time of year for the Holy Father, but thankfully Pope Francis has found time to decree that made-up stories are a "serious sin". In fact, @Pontifex plans to dedicate his upcoming annual communications message to this pressing world problem of "fake news", according to Associated Press. He told …

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  1. cookieMonster

    amen

    Have a pint!!

  2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    New first page of the Bible.

    "To my darling Candy. All characters portrayed within this book are fictitious and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental."

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: New first page of the Bible.

      "To my darling Candy. All characters portrayed within this book are fictitious and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental."

      That second sentence reminds me of a very similar line in an episode of "Red Dwarf", about archeologists on Earth finding the long lost first page of the Bible

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: New first page of the Bible.

        The first sentence should as well, since that's what I'm quoting.

  3. codejunky Silver badge

    Hah

    Excellent article. Love the title too

    1. BillG Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: Hah

      Some of these fake news websites are one-man operations, making boatloads of money in advertising. I always wondered if that is strictly legal.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Hah

        The big ones have a single man figurehead but make most of their money from property, donations from the poor and creative banking services to certain Sicilian family businesses

        1. King Jack Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Hah

          You forgot closed books and tax free. That is where the money is.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hah

            The trick is to run an international bank from the center of the capital city of one of the more corrupt european countries with no border controls but not be in the Eu so there is no oversight of your banking regulations.

  4. Chris G Silver badge

    Sooo.. Parables are out then?

  5. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    News from 20 minutes into the future...

    "Did you hear that? The Pope said something very important today. Very. Important. Fake News is a sin. That's what the Pope said. When CNN put up Fake News about me, they are sinning. When the BBC put out fake news about me, they are sinning. The mainstream media are sinners, and they will burn in hell. It's not me who said it, that's what the Pope said." Etc etc...

    1. TonyJ Silver badge

      Re: News from 20 minutes into the future...

      "..."Did you hear that? The Pope said something very important today. Very. Important. Fake News is a sin. That's what the Pope said. When CNN put up Fake News about me, they are sinning. When the BBC put out fake news about me, they are sinning. The mainstream media are sinners, and they will burn in hell. It's not me who said it, that's what the Pope said." Etc etc..."

      Bet you all read that in his voice then, too? I know I did :)

      1. John G Imrie Silver badge

        Re: News from 20 minutes into the future...

        20 Minutes into the Future and I get Max Headroom, but then I'm old enough to remember when the future was going to be fun.

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: News from 20 minutes into the future...

          20 Minutes into the Future and I get Max Headroom, but then I'm old enough to remember when the future was going to be fun.

          Well, not a lot of fun in Max Headrooms '20 minutes into the future' dystopia - choice of dull corporate pawn or slumming it as a blank...

          I was just (about) old enough to have had puppyish warm feelings about Amanda Pays (Theora Jones) though...

  6. handleoclast Silver badge
    Pint

    I love the final paragraph

    Anyway, thank God someone has taken the unprecedented step of speaking out against made-up stories that have no bearing in fact but are nonetheless taken as gospel...

    That's some of that there coppery stuff, isn't it?

    Have a pint on me. You'll need a few drinks inside you when (if) the handful of religious commentards finally figure out what you were getting at.

    Ob Christmas Reading: this, this and this (skip the intro by the editor, the only bit you need is that Paine uses "Bible" to mean the OT and "Testament" to mean the NT). If the TV programming is excessively shite (as it usually is at this time of year) you could always read this little bundle.

    1. Denarius Silver badge

      Re: I love the final paragraph

      and your evidence for these beliefs ? Just another parrot of current dominant belief system. Dull, old, predictable and not supported by evidence, like the claims of oral tradition made by the current relic of a dead empire. Fundamentalist materialists are the most dogmatic believers I run across, nearly as bad as Xtians who are atheists in all but name but like to use bastardised New Testament jargon. To his credit Dawkins loathes them. Flame away with the latest propaganda from the 18th and 19th century...

      1. handleoclast Silver badge

        Re: I love the final paragraph

        @Denarius

        Flame away with the latest propaganda from the 18th and 19th century...

        An interesting viewpoint you have there. Is it based upon the idea that facts deteriorate with age or is it based upon the idea that logic deteriorates with age?

        It must be that facts deteriorate with age. Because new facts may turn up. But if new facts don't turn up then the existing conclusions stand.

        So if you'd pointed me at newer research showing the reading I cited to be factually incorrect, I'd agree with you. Instead you're using a fallacy that could be used to dismiss Boolean algebra (invented in 1847) for designing logic circuits.

        BTW, Remsburg did get one thing wrong that I know of. Where he claimed that OT patriarchs were named after Babylonian kings. Feel free to point out any other errors you find. But even if you manage to discredit every bit of his historical research, the internal contradictions in the Bible that he pointed out are still valid.

        Oh, and irony of ironies (how ironic, given this thread), I'll just turn your argument back on you: Flame away with the latest propaganda from the 3rd century...

    2. Morten_T

      Re: I love the final paragraph

      "The TV programming is excessively shite (as it usually is)."

      There, FTFY ;)

  7. ukgnome Silver badge

    Dear Alanis Morrisette - this is what irony looks like.

    1. Tempest8008

      Oi, lay off Alanis.

      What is more ironic than a song about irony with no real irony in it?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I quite like this one,

        Link

  8. Paul Herber

    Comments from anyone named Matthew, Mark, Luke or John especially welcome...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      but judas can fuck off.

      1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
        Coat

        but judas can fuck off.

        "Oi! I did nuffin'. It was those bastards down at the Gethsemane Chronicle spinning it like it was all my fault. I wasn't even in the country at the time. I come back, find I'm dead, apparently, I'm hated by everyone, and not a sign of those thirty pieces of silver I am meant to have earned.

        "And meanwhile there's some geezer calling himself Pontiff pushing out relics and saints like there's no tomorrow. "It's all kosher", he says. Sure; Happy Hannukah.

        " It's the last time I vote to leave the Roman Empire. Fuck Rexit."

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Ah.. the gospel word from Paul.

  9. Milo Tsukroff
    Coat

    It's not fake news, it's Oral Tradition

    It's not fake news, it's Oral Tradition. As good as Gospel. https://www.catholic.com/tract/scripture-and-tradition

    I'll get my coat. Mine's the one with the bible in the pocket.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not fake news, it's Oral Tradition

      If there's one thing the Catholic Church needs to stay away from it's oral tradition.

    2. Bill M

      Is oral sex ok, as long as it is traditional ?

      Is oral sex ok, as long as it is traditional ?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is oral sex ok, as long as it is traditional ?

        Only the missionary is acceptable.

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          Re: Is oral sex ok, as long as it is traditional ?

          But where can I find a missionary these days to bonk?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Is oral sex ok, as long as it is traditional ?

            "But where can I find a missionary these days to bonk?"

            Ding dong...

            but don't tie them up.

          2. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: Is oral sex ok, as long as it is traditional ?

            But where can I find a missionary these days to bonk?

            Meanwhile in Belfast...

            Missionaries, no. But you can't walk on somedays without tripping over annoying evangelists down from Martyrs Memorial...

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Is oral sex ok, as long as it is traditional ?

              That's what Belfast needs - more choice of religous extremists.

              At least an orange-robe march would be colourful

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So if I read a story about a virgin getting pregnant travelling by donkey to have a baby in a manger as there was no room at the inn and she gets visited by three kings bearing gifts proclaiming him the son of god I'm just to dismiss it as fake news?

    This is all very confusing and contradictory.

    1. veti Silver badge

      if that story is presented as "news", I would seriously consider finding an alternative newsfeed.

      On the other hand, if it's presented as background knowledge that's pretty important to know about if you want to make any kind of sense out of - well, western civilisation basically - or a story used to hang contemporary morals on, then I would just acknowledge it for what it is and carry on with my day.

      Seriously, comparing church doctrines with "fake news" is a cheap shot, and one that suggests both ignorance of and indifference to the Roman Catholic position on biblical teaching.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Sure it's not all faked, some of it is just copied from other people's myths

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          Ah, so there are copyright issues here, too, then?

          Just give Disney a few more years of lobbying to the current protectionist president and the term of copyright will be measured in millennia.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Would be an interesting day in court.

            You Mr YHVH are charged that you did copy almost all of your novel from my client Marduk.

            I would like to point out that any floods, plagues of locusts or striking down of first born members of the jury will be considered contempt of court.

      2. unimaginative

        "Seriously, comparing church doctrines with "fake news" is a cheap shot, and one that suggests both ignorance of and indifference to the Roman Catholic position on biblical teaching."

        And which part of that do you find surprising from The Register of all things? If you read it for a while no one on the staff have any idea of religious beliefs or the reasoning behind them. As for cheap shots, sure that is pretty much their style regardless of subject?

        1. #define INFINITY -1

          @unimaginative

          Unfortunately Atheist most often means Antitheist. If you argue ... let the labelling begin!

          1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

            Re: @unimaginative

            Reasoning behind religious beliefs? Reason and religious belief are quite separate from each other.

  11. Tigra 07 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    In other words:

    Fake news is bad...says representative for biggest piece of fiction in history.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wonderful stuff

    Warms the heart of a grumpy, atheist lefty, particularly at this time of year. At school, we used to have and edition of the bible called the 'Good News Bible'. Instead of the 'Good News Bible' hopefully they'll start printing the 'Fake News Bible'. Or is that just any Bible?

    * Even though it's completely content free, the King James Version has some fab use of English, and some of the more poetic books like Isaiah read really well, even if it's, well......you know.....nonsense.

    ** I've now said the word 'Bible' too much, and it's starting to seem quite an odd word.

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      Re: Wonderful stuff

      Haven't you seen the Arc Encounter in the US? Apparently Noah was sharing his arc with dinosaurs.

      How did a carpenter catch two tyrannosaurus Rex, transport them to his boat, and keep them calm and captive for 40 days? And that's without mentioning the obvious flaws with the story.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Wonderful stuff

        How did a carpenter catch two tyrannosaurus Rex, transport them to his boat, and keep them calm and captive for 40 days?

        By giving them the same cool drugs as smoked by whoever built that madness in Kentucky. I bet they were quite content chillaxing while having some really cool drugs for 40 days. The only issue is - while I have no objection to people smoking cool stuff, not sharing it is criminal.

    2. nijam Silver badge

      Re: Wonderful stuff

      > it's starting to seem quite an odd word.

      It's just Greek (more or less) for "book". File under Science Fiction, as Roy Harper once put it.

    3. Pedigree-Pete Bronze badge
      Happy

      Re: Wonderful stuff

      @nick_rampart. Say "Bible" with a Rowen Atkinson "Blackadder" accent and see if it sounds better. PP

      Fibble.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Belief and Lies?

    Is there a difference when someone genuinely believes what they are saying as opposed to when someone lies just for the sake of it?

    1. handleoclast Silver badge

      Re: Belief and Lies?

      Is there a difference when someone genuinely believes what they are saying as opposed to when someone lies just for the sake of it?

      You mean when what they're saying is contradicted by facts and/or contains internal contradictions but they believe it anyway?

      The word is "fuckwittery." Often pronounced "faith."

      1. jmch Silver badge

        Re: Belief and Lies?

        "contains internal contradictions but they believe it anyway"

        The human mind is extremely irrational, and many people are completely at ease with simultaneously believing multiple contradictory "facts" with little or no discomfort.

        Perhaps the ultimate test for AI!

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